Alison Nankivell appointed New CEO of MaRS Discovery District

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By CPE News

CPE News (12.20.2023) – MaRS Discovery District has appointed Alison Nankivell, currently SVP of Fund Investments at BDC Capital, as its news Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Nankivell will assume her position in March 2024, replacing departing Yung Wu.

Formed under Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act in October 2014, MaRS Discovery District “helps Canadian startups succeed so they can solve our toughest problems in areas like climate, health and the economy.”

MaRS Discovery District is governed by a 15-members board of directors.

photo credit: MaRS

News Release

MaRS Discovery District Announces Alison Nankivell as its New CEO

Nankivell is an investment industry veteran who brings a wealth of global expertise and business acumen to MaRS

TORONTO, Dec. 20, 2023 /CNW/ – MaRS Discovery District is proud to announce a pivotal leadership transition. The Board of Directors is delighted to introduce Alison Nankivell as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), set to assume office in March 2024.

After a rigorous process, Alison Nankivell was selected as the incoming CEO. Alison is no stranger to the innovation landscape. As Senior Vice President, Fund Investments and Global Scaling at BDC Capital, she has been responsible for investments in venture capital and growth funds, as well as strategic ESG initiatives and global expansion. Alison has worked in senior investment roles at the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Export Development Canada (EDC), and is fluent in Mandarin. With a passion for driving sustainable growth and a strong dedication to nurturing emerging talent, Alison is poised to continue MaRS Discovery District’s mission of supporting startups and making a positive impact on society.

“I want to thank Yung Wu for his leadership and the tremendous impact that he has had on MaRS these past six years. Alison has the passion and leadership that will build upon these successes and advance MaRS into the next phase of impact.” Annette Verschuren, Chair MaRS Board of Directors.

“I am excited to lead MaRS Discovery District and work alongside our talented team to drive innovation, economic growth, and societal impact,” said Alison Nankivell. ” MaRS sits at a unique intersection of innovation in Canada and across the globe, and I am eager to build on its legacy and help shape the future of innovation in Canada and beyond.”

With current CEO Yung Wu departing on December 31st, MaRS Discovery District is pleased to share that Krista Jones will serve as the interim CEO from January 1, 2024 until Alison’s arrival in March. Krista, currently MaRS’ Chief Delivery Officer, has been an integral part of the MaRS leadership team for 15 years. Among other achievements, she was the founding executive of MaRS Momentum, Canada’s largest program for scale-stage science and tech companies. Her in-depth knowledge of MaRS and the stakeholders we support, coupled with her leadership acumen, will ensure a seamless transition and uninterrupted support for the MaRS community during this period.

“We are confident Alison and the team will usher in a new era of innovation and growth at MaRS Discovery District,” remarked Claudette McGowan, Vice-Chair of the Board at MaRS, and leader of the CEO search committee. “Alison brings exceptional leadership qualities and a shared commitment to our mission. Her vision aligns seamlessly with MaRS’ goals, and we look forward to the transformative impact she will have on our organization and the innovation community at large.”

The Board of Directors, along with the entire MaRS Discovery District community, is looking forward to a bright and prosperous future under the leadership of Alison Nankivell.

About MaRS Discovery District:

MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) MaRS helps Canadian startups succeed so they can solve our toughest problems in areas like climate, health and the economy. As North America’s largest urban innovation hub and a registered charity, MaRS provides direct support for more than 1,200 ventures, builds communities of innovators within its 1.5 million square feet of lab and office space and beyond, and spurs the adoption of new solutions — in Canada and around the world.

SOURCE MaRS Discovery District

For further information: For media inquiries or more information, please contact: Wendy Bairos, Director of Communications, MaRS Discovery District,, 416-831-9820